Top 10 Video Game Villains With Justifiable Motives

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Top 10 Video Game Villains With Justifiable Motives

VOICE OVER: Todd Haberkorn WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Sometimes you just can't help but feel for the villain. For this list, Todd Haberkorn will be taking a look at the Villains in Video Games who had justifiable motives such as Superman, The Illusive Man and Scorpion. Who do you think had to most justified motive? Let us know in the comments!

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Top 10 Video Game Villains Who Had Justifiable Motives

You know what? We can kinda see their point. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten video game villains who had justifiable motives.

For this list, we’ll be looking at ten video game villains who had rather justifiable motives for their actions and who convincingly blur the line between good and evil.

#10: Lord Emon


“Shadow of the Colossus” (2005)

Lord Emon acts as an antagonist-of-sorts throughout “Shadow of the Colossus.” We say this because his motives (in keeping with the game’s overall style) are rather ambiguous and unexplained. There are theories that, much like Emon tries to have Wander killed at the end of the game, it was he who had Mono murdered in an attempt to prevent her awakening Dormin. Though his actions are reprehensible, he carries them out to keep the shadowy and also-ambiguous Dormin from awakening and perhaps releasing further violence and atrocities on the world. Sometimes protecting the innocent from a giant shadow figure with horns involves making moral sacrifices.

#9: Alma


“F.E.A.R.” series (2005-11)

Alma is undoubtedly one of the freakiest villains in all of gaming. She has a creepy laugh, her long black hair ominously covers her face, and she’s a little girl ghost thing, which is like… horror movie 101. Alma’s psychic traits made her the focus of intense experiments at the hands of Armacham, beginning when she was just three years old. Alma was constantly sedated, put into an induced coma, locked and secluded in a vault, and even impregnated with scientific prototypes in the hopes of creating a race of psychic humans. So yeah… one can see how she became a vengeful ghoul.

#8: Scorpion


“Mortal Kombat” series (1992-)

Scorpion has unfailingly remained a “Mortal Kombat” fan favorite for decades. Since his debut in the first Mortal Kombat back in 19932, he has captivated players with his cool appearance, fire-breathing skull, grappling hook hand thing, and his persistent, demonic yelling of “GET OVER HERE!” But what not everyone knows is that Scorpion has a tragic past. He initially joined the Shirai Ryu, a clan of ninjas, to provide for his family. After his clan and family were killed, however, Scorpion became an agent of vengeance He will do anything, including acts of evil, to resurrect his clan or avenge his family. Despite his demonic appearance, Scorpion is a good dude. OK, a conflicted dude.

#7: Loghain Mac Tir


“Dragon Age: Origins” (2009)

Loghain Mac Tir is your prototypical evil ruler. Throughout “Origins,” Loghain serves as the commander of the Ferelden army after having betrayed the King and Grey Wardens to the Darkspawn. He then declares himself King and puts false blame on the Grey Wardens. While he may seem like a one-dimensional villain, it’s clear that he is well-intentioned (however extreme and misguided he may be), in that he sees himself as a necessary evil to protect his home country of Ferelden. The Orlais are also responsible for invading his homeland, killing his dog and forcing him to watch the rape of his mother. It’d be hard not to hate the perpetrators of such cruel actions.

#6: Superman


“Injustice: Gods Among Us” (2013)

The Man of Steel is usually one of the good guys, but not so in this 2013 fighting game. He serves as the primary antagonist and as Earth’s grumpy dictator and the leader of a tyrannical regime. Though he’s undeniably in the wrong, we can understand how he got to this place. This version of Supes was tricked into murdering his wife and unborn child by the maniacal Joker, who also blew up Metropolis with a nuclear bomb. This leads Superman to do what Batman never could: he kills the Joker, and loses all sense of morality and justice in the process, forcefully trying to make earth a world without violence and crime. Good intentions, terrible execution.

#5: Illusive Man


“Mass Effect” series (2007-17)

The Illusive Man serves as the leader of Cerberus, a paramilitary group with the belief that humanity deserves a higher standing in the wide-reaching galactic community. The Illusive Man (and Cerberus in general) believes that humans are the superior race, and he will do anything in his power to see humanity ascend the metaphorical food chain. With that being said, he also attempts to stop the Reapers from exterminating all life in the galaxy and even gifts Shepherd the necessary tools to combat the threat. Sure, he’s manipulative, a speciesist and later becomes indoctrinated, but surely you’d side with him in the fight for survival over extinction.

#4: King Logan


“Fable III” (2010)

A king must perform his duty and protect his people. Sometimes this means making terrible decisions. Such is the case with King Logan of “Fable III.” King Logan is seemingly a terrible ruler, as his poor decisions have resulted in a tense and fractured country plagued with poverty and resistance groups. Logan also orders lawful protesters murdered and forces the player to make a horrific choice between a group of citizens and your fiancé. Later in the game, however, we learn that Logan’s tyrannical ways were motivated by a need to finance an army against a dangerous outside threat called the Crawler. No one said that being King was an easy job.

#3: Marlene & The Fireflies


“The Last of Us” (2013)

Never mind a kingdom. How about saving the entire world? At the end of “The Last of Us,” Joel learns that Marlene and the Fireflies want to euthanize Ellie and harvest her brain for experiments, as they believe that her brain holds the secret to a cure. Joel swiftly puts a stop to that by murdering everyone. So, you know, so much for that. The great thing about this game is its moral line-blurring. Is Marlene evil for wanting to harvest a child, or is Joel evil for murdering all these people in cold blood and impeding the discovery of a possible cure? There are no easy answers, and it’s fantastic.

#2: Illidan Stormrage


“Warcraft” series (1994-)

Illidan Stormrage’s past is full of dreadful atrocities that have earned him the detestation of his people. Nicknamed The Betrayer, Illidan will stop at nothing on his quest for power and control. However, his intentions have always been rooted in honorable ideas, as he strove to repel the invasion of the Burning Legion. He also reached his breaking point when his love, Tyrande, chose his brother over him. That’s gotta hurt. His ruthless disposition only grew worse when he was imprisoned for 10,000 years for creating another Well of Eternity. He’s clearly a bad dude, but we can see little sprinkles of goodness in there.

#1: Revolver Ocelot


“Metal Gear” series (1987-)

We’re not really sure if Revolver Ocelot is good or not because, quite frankly, we’ve struggled to keep up with him throughout the series. Ocelot has seemingly changed allegiances like everyone else changes their underwear; he has been a primary antagonist, anti-villain, and conceivable hero across the various installments. At the end of the day, however, Ocelot just wanted liberation from the all-controlling Patriots. His manner is egotistical, his methods show a disregard for human life and he clearly loves torturing people, but at the end of the day, Ocelot was always being driven by a desire to free humankind. Talk about an extreme example of the end justifying the means.
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